NOT FARMER FRIENDLY

Kiraitu clashes with CS Munya over new miraa regulations

Says many licences in miraa sector will cut farmers' profits and are unacceptable

In Summary
  • "We know that agriculture is devolved, they should have consulted me as the governor," Kiraitu said.
  • He said the regulations will do more harm than good to miraa farmers and traders.
Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi.
NOT FARMER FRIENDLY: Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi.
Image: DENNIS DIBONDO

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has opposed new regulations by Agriculture CS Peter Munya on miraa traders, exporters and farmers.

The regulations aim at streamlining the miraa sector for standardisation and acceptance in international markets.

The governor said he was not consulted before the regulations were put up.

He spoke on Monday at Kaaga, Meru when he met farmers during a meeting with cooperatives across the county.

"We know that agriculture is devolved, they should have consulted me as the governor," Kiraitu said.

He said the regulations will do more harm than good to miraa farmers and traders.

"If you have a miraa nursery you must have a licence. To grow miraa you must have a licence. To sell miraa you must be licensed as a trader. To export miraa you must also be licensed as an exporter," Kiraitu said.

The governor said the many licences required in the miraa sector will cut farmers profits and hence are unacceptable.

Kiraitu even threatened to seek court arbitration in opposing the regulations.

He however lauded the national government for solving the diplomatic row with Somalia, to ensure miraa is sold in the Horn of Africa.

The county boss urged the national government to speed up the bilateral agreement, so that miraa can have the biggest market since the ban in United Kingdom.

Kenya is close to unlocking the Somalia miraa market with an agreement expected to be signed early July.

Munya on Saturday said discussions between the two countries have entered the home stretch with a deal expected in two weeks.

“The agreement will be signed in Nairobi on July 5,” he said.

Minority leader Ayub Bundi said Kiraitu is against the regulations, so that miraa farmers do not benefit.

Bundi who is also the Abothuguchi Central MCA said opposing such regulations might hinder the sale of miraa in Somalia.

"He is against the regulations so that miraa farmers cannot sell their produce in Somalia and Munya would be deemed to have failed," he said.

The regulations were published last week after approval by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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